The “Kidmapping” project aims to map the places in Russia where Ukrainian children could have been deported since the beginning of the war. The team in charge of the initiative, made up of Russians opposed to the conflict, has already listed more than 250 addresses.
These activists say they use open source sources to do their mapping. It happens, for example, that pro-Kremlin media on social networks or official sites of institutions in Russia publish information, even photos, on the journeys of these displaced children, say the leaders of the initiative.
The Kidmapping Project has published awith more than 250 places, address or telephone in support, where he suspects that Ukrainian children may be.
These places concern in particular orphanages, holiday camps or temporary accommodation centres. Most are near Ukraine, but some mapped locations are in the Far East or even in Belarus, an ally of Moscow.
Between 20,000 and 200,000 deportations
The activists responsible for the project advise families not to go alone to Russia in search of their children and to go through humanitarian organizations, such as the association based in Kiev “Save Ukraine”. Kidmapping also publishes, in collaboration with another NGO, recommendations on the steps and possible formalities for this research in time of war.
The exact number of children affected by these deportations is impossible to know, some of the parents being deceased or in captivity and not having been able to report the disappearance of their child.
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The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) indicates in apublished on May 4 that between 20,000 and 200,000 children have been deported to Russia or the occupied zones since 2014, during the annexation of Crimea.
Kidmapping also considers that the displacement of children would have started in 2014.
A work of memory
This site was created with the aim of helping Ukrainian families, but also as a work of memory to list what is happening, in order to avoid, like the deportations of the Soviet era, that the data and the number of casualties are kept secret, say project activists, who wish to remain anonymous for security reasons.
This initiative was launched before the International Criminal Court issued its arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova on suspicion of illegal deportations of children.
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